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Jack Mason might be a medic, but that doesn’t seem to stop him from blasting his way through waves of enemy soldiers. By the end of the opening levels of Pariah you’ll have amassed a significant body count in your hunt for your virus infected patient Karina. Pariah was released on PC and Xbox back in 2005 to a mostly mixed critical reception and has faded into obscurity since. If you enjoyed the game first time around, here’s how you can enjoy a second play-through on your more powerful modern PC.
The game should install just fine on modern PCs. Simply place the first disc in your computers optical drive and follow the on-screen prompts. If installation doesn’t start automatically, browse to the CD in Computer/This PC and run the “RunSetup.exe” program manually. When asked if you want to install DirectX 9, you should decline, since the version on the games CD is now obsolete.
Before you attempt to play the game, you should make sure to download and install the latest patch. There were a total of three patches for the game, but you only need to download and install the 1.03 cumulative patch. You can download the patch here. Simply run the patch when it’s finished downloading and installation is automatic.
There are several obstacles to overcome before you can play this game on a modern PC. Firstly, the game uses Safedisc copy protection. This copy protection technology is incompatible with Windows 10. Windows 7 and 8 users may also find that Safedisc compatibility has been removed from their systems due to a recent security upgrade. If you’re still on Windows 7 or 8, you have the option of temporarily disabling this security patch, follow the instructions here for more information.
Users on Windows 10, or those of you who don’t want to uninstall the KB3086255 update will need to find a hacked or ‘cracked’ patch for the game. This is a version of the game that has had the copy protection stripped out. Due to copyright law in the UK and USA we’re not allowed to link to files like this, but we can tell you that we found a working crack for the game by a group called tPORt that passed all relevant virus checks, and the MD5 on the cracked Pariah.exe was 5AE03AFAEB1108A6CB1174BB74F28A0B. To use the tPORt crack, you need to copy all the files from the .rar archive into the System sub-folder in the Pariah game directory (C:\Program Files (x86)\Pariah\System by default).
Once you’ve worked around the incompatible copy protection, you should be able to launch the game by searching for “Play Pariah” on the Start menu or Start screen. If you’re playing on a Windows 10 machine you will find that your game crashes back to the desktop when you start it. There will be a cryptic error about “LockRect failed: D3DERR_DEVICELOST”. To fix this problem, we need to edit some configuration files. If you’re not familiar with this process, see this tutorial.
First of all, browse to the System sub-folder within your Pariah game folder (by default, that’s under C:\Program Files (x86)\Pariah). Locate a file called “Pariah.ini” and open it in Notepad or your favourite text editor. If you can’t find this file, make sure you have tried to launch the game at least once. Once you have the ini file open, find the line that reads
ReduceMouseLag=True and replace it with
ReduceMouseLag=False. Save the file and then exit your text editor. You should now be able to launch Pariah on your new Windows 10 PC no problem.
Before you get too far into the game, we recommend you read the rest of the guide in full. Pariah uses a profile system and once you start a game some settings become impossible to change without deleting your save game/profile and starting the game from scratch.
Tweaking visual quality
Pariah has several visual quality options and most gamers will want to tweak those before beginning a game. Firstly, the games screen resolution should be set to a mode that most suits your monitor. To change resolution, start the game and then choose “Settings” and then “Video”. The top-most option you will then see is “Resolution”. You will notice that widescreen screen modes are not available, but we’ll show you how you can play in widescreen later in the guide.
Once you have configured the games screen resolution, click on the “Back” button and then choose “Performance”. The options shown in the picture below will then appear.
Since this is an old game, you should be able to turn on all of these quality presets on a modern PC. For best visual quality, configure the settings exactly as shown above. If your PC is a little older or low spec, you may need to experiment a little more to find a balance between performance and visual quality. Click on “Back” when you are done.
Tweaking audio quality
Audio options for the game can be configured by choosing “Settings” on the games main menu and then “Audio”. There are three settings that affect audio quality.
Use Native OpenAL:- We’re unsure if this means use the OpenAL audio library that is native to the game, or the one that is native to the system. On our machine the audio quality worked better if we selected “No”. If you have problems with music or sound effects incorrectly looping, try changing this setting.
3D Sound:- Set this to “On” for surround sound or off for stereo. Pariah also supports the now defunct EAX audio standard, which delivered enhanced and accelerated surround sound to those lucky enough to have a compatible sound card. EAX is no longer directly supported since Windows Vista, but users with compatible cards can use the Creative ALChemy software suite to restore EAX sound. Simply add the game to the Creative ALchemy tool as normal (install ALchemy into the system sub folder in the games directory) and then choose “On + EAX AdvancedHD”. We’re not certain if this actually makes the sound any better, this mode may have simply been included so that EAX cards could take over some of the surround sound processing from the CPU.
Maximum Simultaneous Sounds:– Set this to 32 for best quality.
Playing in widescreen
Thanks to the Widescreen Gaming Forum for this tip. In order to enjoy Pariah in widescreen resolutions we need to make some changes to various configuration files. Again, if you’re not familiar with this process, see this tutorial. To carry out this modification, you will also need to delete and re-make your player profile, so you will lose any progress you have made in the game.
Start by opening your Pariah game folder, this is located at C:\Program Files (x86)\Pariah by default. Open the “Saves” sub-folder and delete everything (we weren’t kidding when we said you’d lose your save games).
Now, go back up a directory and into the system sub folder. Find and delete the file “User.ini” if it is present. Now, look for any .ini files with the same name as your profile, or any profile you created (for example, the default profile name, Mason, will have a file called Mason.ini). Delete these ini files, for reasons unknown, simply editing them as they are won’t work.
Now, find the file called DefUser.ini and edit it using Notepad or your favourite text editor. Find the section that begins
[Engine.PlayerController] and then the line
DefaultFOV=70.000000. Change this value to either of the following:-
DefaultFOV=86.073033 for 16:9 resolutions (e.g 720p or 1080p)
DefaultFOV=80.080645 for 16:10 resolutions.
Save the file once you have done editing it. That takes care of the field of view, but we now need to actually set the game into a widescreen mode. Find the Pariah.ini file in the same folder and again, open it in Notepad or your favourite text editor. Search for the lines
FullscreenViewportY and edit them as appropriate. For instance, for 1080p change
FullscreenViewportY=1080. If for any reason you want to change the resolution that the game runs at in windowed mode, you can edit the
WindowedViewportY lines too. Don’t forget to save the file when you are done editing it.
Phew, you’re now all ready to play in widescreen. While the games graphics should look great on your widescreen monitor or HDTV, the games HUD/Interface might not fare so well. You may find that some icons representing weapons are actually placed off screen, though you can still select them with the keyboard or mouse wheel.
Crosshairs/aiming is jittery – If aiming in the game feels jittery, especially when trying to line up a precise shot, it’s probably due to mouse smoothing. Note that to fix this problem you will need to create a new profile and you will lose all your progress, so make sure you take care of it before getting too far into the game.
Start by following the steps under “Playing in widescreen” to delete your save game and profiles and then edit the DefUser.ini file. This time, look for the section beginning
[Engine.PlayerInput]. Firstly, find the line that says
MouseSmoothingMode and change it to
MouseSmoothingMode=0. Then, find the line that begins
MouseSmoothingStrength and change it to
MouseSmoothingStrength=0.000000. Save the file when you’re done editing it, that should make aiming in the game a lot more precise, especially with modern high DPI gaming mice.
Flashing screen glitch – If the game seems to glitch whenever you or your enemies cause a large explosion, then it’s time for some ini file editing again. Open the Pariah game folder in File explorer (C:\Program Files (x86)\Pariah\by default) then open the “System” sub folder. Find the file Pariah.ini and open it in Notepad or your favourite text editor. Find the section that begins
[D3DDrv.D3DRenderDevice], then find the line underneath that begins
HasNVidiaTexM32Tex, change this line to read
HasNVidiaTexM32Tex=1. If you can’t find this line in this section, then add it.
Problems saving games or editing configuration files – Like many old titles, Pariah saves its game data and configuration files into the same folder as the game itself . If you install the game to the default folder (under c:\program files) then, this will usually mean that save games and configuration files cannot be written. You may also find it impossible to edit configuration files as described above. To solve this problem, set the permissions on your game folder so that your user account has full control/read write permissions. You can find a tutorial on how to configure folder permissions here.
Click on any screenshot to enlarge it.